Environmental protection groups accused TNT Mines in unauthorized uranium exploration work ongoing in East Canyon, Utah

Environmental protection groups alleged that TNT has been going into old underground workings to take rock samples without filing the required exploration notices with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining and Bureau of Land Management.

Recently, TNT Mines was focused on uranium exploration work in East Canyon in southeast Utah, between Hwy. 191 and Lisbon Valley.

Over 200 mine claims in East Canyon and Dry Valley belong to Vanacorp USA LLC, the US subsidiary of Vanacorp Aust. TNT has, or intends to, acquire Vanacorp.

Environmentalists alerted the state and federal agencies of TNT’s announcements, and they are looking into TNT and its exploration activities.

About East Canyon uranium-vanadium project

The East Canyon uranium-vanadium project comprises 200 contiguous claims (~4000 acres/16km2) prospective for uranium and vanadium in the Dry Valley/East Canyon mining district of south-eastern Utah, USA.

The Uravan Mineral Belt, which hosts the East Canyon claims, has been an important source of uranium and vanadium in the US for more than 100 years, with historic production of more than 85 million pounds of uranium at an average grade of more than 0.13% U₃O₈ and more than 660 million tonnes of vanadium at an average grade of 1.3% V₂O₅.

The East Canyon claims were targeted to an area with known historical workings, historic drill intercepts and historic production of both uranium and vanadium. Many of these workings remain open, accessible and in good condition with visible high grade uranium-vanadium mineralisation present.

During 2018 and 2019, 26 samples were collected from eight sites including underground ribs/faces and ore dumps on the East Canyon claims. These samples assayed as high as 0.47% U₃O₈ and 9.21% V₂O₅. Abundant visible uranium-vanadium mineralised seams and zones were also observed in the workings.

Figure 1 Location of Project Area. Surrounded by other Uranium Vanadium resources (various Technical reports, Energy Fuels, Anfield Resources), major Hwy 191 runs adjacent to the East Canyon Project. White Mesa Mill 50km away within trucking distance.

The district hosts several significant uranium-vanadium operations including TSX-listed Energy Fuels Inc.’s Rim/Columbus and La Sal Complex mines and development projects including Sage Plains, also owned byEnergy Fuels, and Velvet-Wood, owned by TSX-V-listed company Anfield Resources.

Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill, the only fully licensed and fully operating conventional uranium-vanadium mill in the US, is located within trucking distance (50km) of East Canyon along major highway 191.

Energy Fuels has historically accepted toll treatment agreements as well as purchase programmes for processing ores from third-party mines. This may represent a low-cost opportunity for developers in the region to utilise existing infrastructure, eliminating the significant capital requirement of developing a mill.

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